Snow-clad Minnesota, a stray deer bounding in front of a car with someone knocking in the boot to get out causing a distraction and an accident waiting to happen was the intriguing opener. This then cut to a flashback of small town life in a typical small town American idyll.

Martin Freeman, playing Lester, when not being embroiled in marital discourse, chasing insurance clients away with his over-eagerness to sell or being beaten up by his high school nemesis contemplated his lot and decided it should be a whole lot different. Egged on by dangerous drifter Billy Bob Thornton to disclose all the gory details he agreed that the bully didn’t deserve to draw breath. Hess, the bully and reputed gun runner connected with Fargo, had  karma about to catch up and bite him hard.

Lester was surrounded by American idiots  – the kind that want the biggest of everything and believe that you have no value as a human being unless you are one of the upwardly mobile with a closet full of guns, legal or otherwise. It was easy for a British audience to see why he snapped eventually but I wonder what an American audience makes of it all. They try to emulate that stereotype of success and the good old boy mentality is not normally shown to be unlikable.

The homicides and general violence racked up throughout the episode and small town America never looked so interesting. It is by turns darkly comedic and violent. It looks like a series to be watched.

 

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